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Exercise decline and aging: chickens and eggs

March 31st, 2009
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I just noticed a new paper in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology by University of Ottawa prof Bradley Young and his collaborators, who have produced a series of interesting studies on masters athletes. In this case, they were looking at the lifetime training of competitive 10-kilometre runners between the ages of 40-59, exploring the following idea:

Researchers have contended that patterns of age-related decline are not necessarily due to age, but rather to disuse, or declining practice.

In other words, everyone knows we get slower (and weaker and feebler and so on) as we get older. But how much of this is directly due to aging, and how much is simply because we’re less active than we were in our salad days? Read more…